BATHURST’S under 16s have proven too good for the combined strength of Mudgee, Lithgow and Blue Mountains in a seven wicket win over Mitchell East.
It was a must-win contest for the Bathurst boys who have qualified for the Mitchell Cricket Council Under 16s Challenge Shield final against Orange thanks to the result.
The hosts tore through the East tail order at George Park 1 on Sunday to leave themselves a target of 116 for victory.
Bathurst’s Ethan Muller had a field day with the ball, shredding through the lower order with figures of 4-16 and finding a run out along the way.
After a slow and shaky start with the bat Bathurst made inroads towards the target.
Cooper Brien made his way to a half century before retiring.
Bathurst continued to bat on after reaching the target to allow their batsmen to get in extra minutes. They finished the day on 3-150.
Coach Clint Bryant said it was all about removing the danger players.
“Once we got rid of Lachie Endacott it was looking good for us. There were three big dangers in the team, Lachie, Oscar Mahon and Tom Judge, who played for them and usually plays for us,” he said.
“Once we got through those guys it was a bit of a one way street down the bottom of the order.”
It was Endacott’s dismissal which triggered the Mitchell East lower order collapse.
The Mudgee opener was stopped just short of a half century, on 46, when he was caught by Muller off the bowling of Jacob Ryan.
Ryan was the other standout with the ball for Bathurst. He finished with figures of 3-33.
Mitchell East slumped from an intimidating position of 3-92 to be all out just 23 runs later.
Recent State Challenge selection Tom Lynch picked up the other two wickets for the home team.
Five Mitchell East batsmen were dismissed for a duck.
Lynch’s early dismissal made for a nervous Bathurst start with the bat.
Hamish Siegert (20) and Brien (50 not out) helped keep the hosts on course.
Siegert and Ethan Muller (18) were the only other batsmen to walk back to the pavilion before the total was reached.
Liam Cooke and Declan Fawkner saw out the rest of the overs.
“We started quite slowly with the bat then we decided to put the foot down,” he said.
“Then we kicked on and chased it down quite easily. We then batted on a bit to have a look at the guys who are in contention for Mitchell.
“Obviously Cooper was great with his 50. Liam and Declan just polished it off for us.”
There’s a long break for most of the Bathurst team before the play in the final on February 24.
Some team members will still have the standard under 16s competition to look forward to this month while others are eyeing off premier league play.
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